Calamagrostis canescens (Purple Small-reed)


Summary Information


A perennial herb of lakeside marshes, fen-meadows, tall-herb fens and Alnus or Salix carr, often in extremely species-rich vegetation and sometimes forming extensive stands. Generally lowland, but reaching 335 m on Malham Moor (Mid-W. Yorks.).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Boreo-temperate element, with a continental distribution in W. Europe.


Photos Information


Habitats Information

Broad Habitats

Fen, marsh and swamp (not wooded)

Light (Ellenberg): 7 Information

Moisture (Ellenberg): 9 Information

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7 Information

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 5 Information

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0 Information

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.4 Information

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.7 Information

Annual Precipitation (mm): 723 Information

Life Form

Life Form Information

Height (cm): 120

Perennation - primary


Perennation - secondary

Life Form - primary


Life Form - secondary



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Clonality - secondary


Distribution Information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 293

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.33

Conservation Status

Conservation Status Information

Plantatt Conservation Status

Other Accounts

Other Accounts Information


References Information

PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections.
A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references